Book review: ‘Shadows of Valor’ is a delightful historical romance

By Elizabeth Reid

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Sept. 14 2013 1:30 p.m. MDT

"SHADOWS OF VALOR," by Elsie Park, Jolly Fish Press, $16.99, 252 pages (f)

In “Shadows of Valor,” Elsie Park weaves a medieval spell in her page-turner of a historical romance.

This first-time novelist creates a believable heroine in the scarred Lady Elsbeth Rawley. A woman with issues many readers can relate to, Elsbeth doubts her own self-worth and feels unworthy of romantic affection.

Sir Calan Beaumont, the man Elsbeth has loved since being a young teenager, is the perfect blend of dashing and honorable. However, due to his many experiences with the baser members of society, he has difficulties seeing the good in others. As this lord and lady unite to face danger and solve a mystery, their hearts are opened to love.

Everything changes when the Shadow, King Edward’s mysterious emissary for justice, enters Graywall Village. Adding to this intrigue are various interesting characters: an aunt who suffers from amnesia, a cousin with unrivaled beauty, a mysterious maid and a lecherous wool merchant. These and others make "Shadows of Valor" easy for readers to be pulled into 14th-century England. Park has a gift for making the good guys human and even the vilest of characters pitiable.

Park understands the role religion played in medieval England and brings God, faith and repentance into her novel. With characters from the very devout to the uncaring, Park puts the perfect amount of faith into her romance without coming across as preachy.

A book for those who love happy endings, “Shadows of Valor” has grin-inducing romance and mild violence but is clean enough to comfortably lend to Grandma.

Park has worked in exciting careers: police officer, firefighter, security guard. A graduate of Weber State University, she currently supports her military husband and cares for her three children in northern Utah.

If you go ...

What: "Shadows of Valor" book launch party and Elsie Park book signing

When: Saturday, Sept. 21, 5 p.m.

Where: Layton Market Center, 1780 N. Woodland Park Drive, Layton

Web: barnesandnoble.com, elsiepark.blogspot.com

Elizabeth Reid has bachelor degrees in economics and history. She has worked in retail, medical billing, catering, education and business fields. Her favorite occupation is that of wife and mother. Her email is bizziereid@gmail.com.

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